A while back, a growing number of Pixel 8 owners noted that their devices' screens seem to have formed tiny bumps and ripples, which are most visible whenever the display is turned off and viewed under a direct bright light. Some have even complained that the bumps were present from the moment their phone was unboxed, leading to concerns over durability and performance.
With that being said, it seems that Google has noticed the complaints online, and has since issued a corresponding statement regarding the mysterious screen bumps, which have since been clarified as components pressing up against the display. According to a statement made to 9to5Google:
"Pixel 8 phones have a new display. When the screen is turned off, not in use and in specific lighting conditions, some users may see impressions from components in the device that look like small bumps. There is no functional impact to Pixel 8 performance or durability."
While this does bring some peace of mind at the moment, it still remains to be seen whether or not the screen bumps will affect performance and user experience over the next few months, since the Pixel 8 series handsets are still fairly "new" on the market.
The Pixel 8 series phones feature Google's newly-branded "Actua" displays, which (screen bumps aside) have gained favourable benchmark scores in terms of display quality and power efficiency.
Google has proved to be a disruptive company in the mobile space, doing things differently than most other companies. The strategy has proven to be successful, giving consumers the option of buying phones that feel unique. The same philosophy has been applied to the first Pixel tablet and it's on sale right now.
Many things we buy end up rotting in our drawers and this can end up happening with all top tablets of the year except the Pixel Tablet. That's because the Pixel Tablet is not just a tablet, it's a dockable device that can serve you round the clock. Talk about getting your money's worth!
The Pixel Tablet has a 10.95-inch screen and it's powered by the premium in-house Tensor G2 chip. Not only is it snappy, but it also brings some of the tricks that Pixel phones are famous for to the slate, such as Magic Eraser and smooth dictation.
When you are done using it, you can plop it on the charging speaker dock. The dock will keep the slate charged, so it'll always be juiced up for you to use. And that's not all.
The dock acts as a stand for the device, allowing you to use it as a smart display. You can play podcasts on it while you are in the kitchen, make it display the clock, set timers on it, or use it to control smart devices.
Unlike the iPad, this is a shareable device, so all your family members can have their own accounts on it.
The 128GB Pixel Tablet and the complimentary charging dock costs $499 and currently, it's $100 off on Amazon. For comparison, the 64GB iPad Air costs $599 and the base Galaxy Tab S9 retails for $799.
If you want a snappy tablet that's not as expensive as comparable slates from other well-known companies and don't want a device that will only collect dust, grab the Pixel Tablet before the deal expires.
It appears that the Pixel 8 Pro smartphones might have a display problem. According to posts on Reddit and the Google Support forums, some Pixel 8 Pro smartphone owners are noticing some warping on their displays.
These warpings come in the form of bumps and indentations that have suddenly shown up. While for the most part these bumps don't appear to be too obvious, there are concerns that it might get worse over time.
As 9to5Google points out, teardowns of the phone in the past have revealed some components under the display that could have caused those bumps and indentations, where the components could be pressing against the OLED panel. Users are claiming that for now, there is no impact on the touch functionality or image quality of the screen, but obviously this is not a good sign.
Luckily for some users, they have managed to get a replacement phone from Google, although we have to wonder how widespread this issue is and if Google might need to launch an exchange program. It is unclear why this is only happening now, but perhaps some of these phones were put into tight pockets or were accidentally sat upon, causing the components to pierce the display panel.
Google's acquisition of Fitbit a few years back seemed like the perfect scenario for a lot of fans and buyers, especially with Google's dominance in software development and Fitbit's expertise with health-tracking hardware. This partnership eventually resulted in products like the Google Pixel Watch, which is now in its second generation.
However, we're seeing some concerning moves on behalf of Google's part - the company recently announced that it will be withdrawing Fitbit products and services from several countries in the EU. According to Google's official support page:
We are no longer selling Fitbit products in select countries-but don't worry! We will continue to support you and the devices you currently own with software releases, security updates, warranty fulfillment, and access to customer service.
This change lists several countries in the EU which include Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Slovakia. Google adds that auto-renewals of Fitbit Premium memberships purchased in the aforementioned countries will stop effective October 24, 2023.
This move also affects several other countries in the Asia Pacific region, including Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, with membership auto-renewals ending on August 11, 2023. As such, this decision from Google has had a lot of users scratching their heads, given that Fitbit's services and products have been available in those markets long before the Google acquisition.
Some have even gone so far as to speculate that Fitbit might end up being another casualty in the Google Graveyard, which most recently added Google Pixel Pass and Stadia to its list of discontinued services and products.
Google conducts reviews on apps submitted to the Play Store to ensure they comply with Google's policies and do not contain malicious code. Unfortunately, as we have seen in the past, some apps do slip through the cracks which means by the time it's discovered, it might be too late.
The good news is that Google has since announced a new Play Store initiative that will make it easier for users to discover apps that are secure. This will be done through a new "Independent Security Review" badge for certain apps that have met the security and privacy standards set by the industry.
Apps that have this badge means that they have been reviewed by MASA (Mobile App Security Assessment) created by the App Defense Alliance (ADA) last year. According to Google:
"This signals to users that an independent third-party has validated that the developers designed their apps to meet these industry mobile security and privacy minimum best practices and the developers are going the extra mile to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities. This, in turn, makes it harder for attackers to reach users' devices and improves app quality across the ecosystem."
Google does note that just because an app has this badge does not mean that it is free from vulnerabilities. This would be near impossible because developers cannot anticipate every single scenario, but at the very least users will now be able to easily identify apps whose developer has prioritized security and privacy practices.